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Liverpool has and is, arguably, at the forefront of showing how to rejuvenate post-industrial cities fit for the challenges of the twenty-first century. There is probably no better example in recent times of the unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sector in achieving world class cultural events and the impact culture can have on the professional business stage.

The critics have given the thumbs up to our artistic integrity, our artistic ambitions and the visitors and residents alike have voted with their feet with our events continuing to break attendance records.

As visitor numbers continue to rise, retail bucks national trends and an increasing amount of businesses are looking to invest in the Liverpool City Region, now is the perfect time to once again put Liverpool on the international stage and show the world how culture is indeed, the rocket fuel for our continued regeneration.

Despite a challenging economic landscape, the cultural and business sector within the city region is ready to do business and what better way to showcase our successful practices between the private and public sector than with The Business Festival — after all, we are Guinness World Record holders for this sort of thing.

Research suggests a rich cultural scene provides an opportunity for businesses which enhances their reputation, branding and personality. Aside from being a marketers dream in potential reputation perception, the chances for businesses who are located in a thriving cultural location are tenfold. In the Liverpool City Region, our cultural events offering provides a range of unique networking opportunities, to enable a business to be remembered for all the right reasons and benefit from the positive international profile associated with the extensive array of media coverage our cultural events attract. Through this halo effect of association, businesses and corporate events associated with our vibrant cultural region benefit not only through connotations with such a forward thinking, innovative and creative physical environment but also from the increased morale, positivity and skillset of those attracted to work in the area — in a society increasingly focusing on work life balance, what better way to combine a business and lifestyle choice than in a cultural hub?

Hosting The Business Festival in Liverpool is a natural choice. In times of economic uncertainty the potential economic impact of such an event on the local economy should not be underestimated as well as our impact on the financial prosperity of businesses choosing to participate and invest. Research by Arts Council England suggests that the creative industries are characterised by a younger workforce and that a strong arts and cultural sector is an important decision in choosing where to locate and invest while attracting and retaining talent and appealing to graduate companies and experts in the digital and creative industries.

The Government’s Industrial Strategy features the Creative Industries heavily and focuses on growth for creative businesses with research highlighted by Arts Council England suggesting that creative enterprises are the driving force behind unlocking innovation and delivering significant levels of social impact. This research supports the theory that a strong cultural and creative offer enables businesses to be more flexible in their chosen locations — strongly evident in the creative and cultural scene within Liverpool which has continued to grow year on year and buck international trends for investment.

As we look ahead to hosting The Business Festival in Liverpool, I am looking forward to highlighting our cultural scene in the city region but also but showcasing the huge collaborative opportunities available for business and the arts and, once again, position the city region at the forefront of best practice as we lead the way in creative thinking.

Liverpool is one of the most culturally enriched cities in the whole world, we were the capital of commerce, the gateway for international business, the first and last port of call for many trades for centuries. As our city has evolved, our iconic waterfront and docks where it all began have grown and developed, so has our city and we have quietly created a business empire that has been continuing to import skill, uniqueness and talent for generations and export high class, quality exports around the world. As we look towards hosting The Business Festival I am proud to be able to bring our unique creative offer to this event and combine a cultural programme which benefits both the bottom line of business as well as creating top level cultural experiences which will transform the contemporary operating climate.

Liverpool has never been shy of taking to the stage, whether it’s the musical or dramatic or lectern or conference — we are adaptable, brave and innovative and are ready for our curtain call. We’ve been expecting you, we will see you on the world stage.

Claire McColgan, Director of Culture Liverpool

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Telling stories. Delivering events. Championing creativity. Inspiring audiences. Thinking forward. — Culture: the rocket fuel for regeneration.

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